10 Best Basketball Shoes Reviewed for Performance

Since the inception of basketball, players and fans alike have been on the hunt for the perfect shoe. One of the originals, the iconic Chuck Taylor created by Marquis Converse paved the way for competitor companies to insert themselves into the shoe industry as well. Not long after, companies like Nike and Puma stepped into the scene, creating shoes that hold legendary status to this day, such as the Nike Blazer and the Puma Clyde.


As you would expect, basketball shoe companies have and always will consistently find ways to improve the performance of their shoes if they are to stay relevant in the industry, utilizing various materials such as flywire technology, specialized leather, mesh and more. Obviously, shoe configuration is also important. Shapeshifting the form of basketball shoes to perform better in terms of their ability to allow the player to be quick on their feet, stable and most important, feel natural on the court.

Last Updated: May 16, 2017
by Daniel Gonzalez :

The newest update accommodates for 2017’s best and highest rated basketball shoes, with much more in-depth, specific information, features and price comparisons.

Featured Recommendations

Nike HyperDunk
  • Nike HyperDunk
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Integrated Flywire Cables
  • Price: See Here
Adidas Crazy Explosive
  • Adidas Crazy Explosive
  • 4.4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Updated Lacing System
  • Price: See Here
Adidas CrazyLight Boost
  • Adidas CrazyLight Boost
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • One-Piece sock-like construction
  • Price: See Here

Famed and sponsored basketball players such as Lebron James and Kevin Durant have been at the forefront of faces in the industry, and together with the shoe companies, conceived some of the greatest shoes out today. With Durant having as many as nine shoes currently tied to his name and Lebron as many as twelve, they together are making a large impact in the basketball shoes created. Being that Basketball is one of the most popular sports, the evolution of the overall quality in shoes made for it and material used was inevitable.

In this list, we take a look at the top ten best basketball shoes of the yearly era, and evaluate the important aspects and values of the shoes.


10 Best Basketball Shoes


1. Nike Hyper Dunk

First on the list is the Nike Hyper Dunk. The successor to last years version ensures ultimate responsiveness and airflow. Tight, sleek and clean, this shoe is what most avid shoe fans look for when it comes to dependability and style; also available in various assortments of colors. It is Nike’s latest installment to the Dunk series and is arguably the most comfortable and best looking basketball shoe to date.
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The Nike Hyper Dunk comes equipped with a breathable inner sleeve within the shoe, almost giving the user a sock like fit to fulfill the need for the player to feel natural while performing. This is always important when it comes to crossing up and handling on the court, making this shoe a competitive one in the comfortability factor.

Another aspect to take note with the Hyper Dunk is its durable mesh cage. The mesh cage enables the user to have breath support for their foot, acting as a coolant as well. Sweating of the foot has always been a problem for players because it causes short and long term problems.

Cost and Value
The Hyper Dunk is at a normal set price for a high end basketball shoe. It’s not the most expensive on the list, but it’s not the cheapest either. But, it being in first place should even the odds a little to make the buyer want to buy it. It’'s a shoe that will not leave a player nor fan disappointed.

Various Colorway

Breathable Mesh

Low- profile responsiveness




Traction can be enhanced a bit more

2. Adidas Crazy Explosive

Taking our second spot on our list is the Adidas Crazy Explosives. Lightweight, tight and comfortable, the Crazy explosives may be what a speedy baller on the court is looking for. Mid top for enhanced ankle support, prime-knit for comfort and durability and TPU wrap for a quicker response. The Adidas crazy explosive is a shoe to be feared amongst its competitors and is made clear why is deserves to be where it is.
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The most important aspect of this shoe is its utilization of the prime-knit and TPU wrap technology.This technology provides the Crazy Explosive with maximum comfortability and up-most natural responsiveness. Breaking ankles in these should no problem given the added bonus of the lightweightness of it.

To add some lift to your jump, the Crazy Explosive has a full length boost sole. Providing extra bounciness and sprint when needed to propel oneself, almost like a spring. This helps with jumpers and players who love to posterize and humiliate their competition.

Cost and Value
The cost for the Adidas Crazy Explosive is what you would expect for the price of this high end basketball shoe, not too high nor too low. You get what you pay for and the Crazy explosives delivers near exactly what the player wants.


Various Colorway

Textile/ Synthetic

Low to Mid Top


A bit narrow

3. Nike Kevin Durant 9

Third on our list, coming as a full package is the Nike KD 9. This shoe is stacked with all types of shoe kinks and goodies, making it a prime example of why it should be feared as a top shoe contender and what Nike footwear has in store for the future. From its Flyknit construction to its flex grooves and more, it’s no wonder why this shoe is talked about and placed on the podium for the top three. Kevin Durant is definitely be proud of this one.
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The KD 9’s are equipped with advanced basketball tech. First of all the shoe comes with Zoom air, for natural motion and total response in any direction. The sole is thicker for harder landings, yet thinner in the forefoot enhance control.This shoe also has flyknit, which provides a comfortable fit and feel for the user, able to stretch and conform in areas needed for breath support. Needless to say, this shoe is truly a double whammy when to comes to the ensurance of comfort and natural control.

Another noticeable aspect of this shoe is its intersecting lace loops. These lace loops form a cage that holds your foot during a quick succession of cuts and turns. Added bonuses of the shoe is the multidirectional traction pattern for durability and multi surface grips and the extra mesh and foam around the heel for added impact and protection.

Cost and Value
The Nike KD comes at a high set price, making it one of the pricier articles on the list. Still, a great shoe with too many goodies to count.

Advanced tech


Breath support

Various colorway



A bit pricey

4. Adidas Derrick Rose 7

The Adidas D. Rose series 7 has appeared on the list. A cross over king, it’s no wonder why Derrick Rose's’ shoes has popped up on the list. The D. Rose 7 is a huge contender in style and colorway; performance is not too far behind when it comes to efficiency. This shoe is a high top beast and comes with a long tongue, for fans who favor that certain style. It also brings three different materials together, consisting of mesh, synthetic and suede.
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As I stated earlier the D. Rose 7’s consists three different types of material, mesh, synthetic and suede. The mesh and synthetic provides top tier breathability; the synthetic overlays for a strategic approach to the court.

A noticeable feature is the well molded collar, which provides support and makes it easy to work with and injured brace. This makes it easier for players who are injured to get back into the game with added support, as it caters for the ankle and shin, making this shoe a possible long term gem.

Cost and Value
The Adidas Rose 7’s come at a price around and average price for a high end basketball shoe. This makes them a mid to high range priced basketball shoe. Being that they are so sleek and stylish, what baller wouldn't want these?

Molded Collar

Long lasting and durable

Very Breathable


A bit tight fitting

5. Nike Lebron XIII

Being his first shoe appearance but not his last, Lebron’s Nike Lebron XIII comes in the fifth place spot on our list. His latest installment, the Lebron XIII is a mid top shoe that will leave players and collectors proud. Having the latest technology, the Lebron XII comes equipped with flywire and Nike zoom leap. This makes jumping much easier and less of a hassle to cover more ground. This shoe comes with multiple colorways and even more than one lip style, making it easy for everyone to have a favorite.
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The Lebron Nike XIII comes equipped with flywire cables; these cable wrap around the heel of the shoe to give the user a “lock down” type feeling, feeling grounded and agile all at the same time. This flywire ensures that your shoe never flies off while sprinting and jumping, leaving your friends on the floor in true style.

The Lebron XIII also comes with Zoom L.E.A.P and zoom air units. The Zoom L.E.A.P enhances the propulsion and the responsiveness of the shoe while the air units lie on the forefoot, leaving a low-profile and flexible shoe. Players will be sure to love this shoe, easily being the most stylish on the list.

Cost and Value
The Lebron XIII comes at a top tier price. They are stylish and they come with advanced Nike footwear tech.

Snug fit

Zoom L.E.A.P technology

Flywire technology

Comforting ankle support

Good ankle support and impact cushioning.


Wear-testers reported they need longer breaking in period than usual

6. Under Armour Curry 3

The young star Steph Curry’s third shoes is in our sixth spot. Being a three point King and winning a recent championship being so young with talent, Steph’s rise to the top ten shoe spot was inevitable. This pretty shoe has the S.C.(Steph Curry logo) engraved on the outer side as well as the end of the tongue. There is also four Under Armour Logo’s placed on all areas of the shoe, all coming in a different color depending on the the color way the buyer gets. It is synthetic, which is molded on the upper, making a nice fit.
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As I said earlier this shoe has synthetic molding around the upper, making it more lightweight and a comfortable fit.

An External PU shell provides extra support for whole foot and durability. It also has a External shank and heel, going as far as to provide stability through the heel, arch and the forefoot, diminish the chances of sliding at all, making the user feel “locked in.”.

Cost and Value
Costing mid range, the Curry 3’s are definitely comfortable and natural shoes. Bound to catch a Steph Curry fan in an instant and throw some sauce in the purchase.

External PU Shell

Shank and Heel support

Synthetic Molding



Should order one size up; run small

7. Nike Lebron Solider 10

This being his second shoe appearance on the list, the Lebron Soldier 10’s might catch peers off guard at first, but will gain its respect. I say this because these shoes have 3 velcro straps, separated from the mid toe to top. Nevertheless, this does not make the shoe any less appealing. It also comes with three Nike symbols across the back and base of the shoe, as well as the “king James” symbol and his signature located at the top. It sports Nike’s Zoom air technology. It also comes with stretch lining and perforated foam and textile.
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The three velcro straps strap down the users foot, keeping them locked in, adding a custom fit. The shoe will not fall off. The upper has stretch lining and perforated foam and textile, making motion easy and free while being secure strapped by the 3 strap velcro.

The Zoom Air technology on the heel and forefoot provide responsive and soft cushioning. It is lightweight and has thicker elastic around the fore and midfoot for a tighter fit. This always the player to stay alert and react better defensively.

Cost and Value
This shoe has a whopping price tag, being the most expensive on the list. The Lebron Soldier 10’s are definitely for major basketball players or for those who have expensive taste, those who throw money around like no ones business. Regardless of what, these shoes are amazing and throw in interesting key features such as the 3 stripe velcro straps that might sway the buyers attention in the direction of this shoe.

Zoom Air Tech

3 velcro strap secured

Stretch lining/ perforated foam and textile



Some wear-testers reported breathability issues

8. Adidas CrazyLight Boost

A beautiful low topped shoe, the Adidas Crazy Boost does not slack when it comes to performance and comfortability despite going against its higher topped counter parts. Despite being eighth on the list, these shoes are stacked package of goodies. Made for indoor hardwood; the light agileness and molded heel, plus extra goodies such as Jacquard synthetic and Continental rubber makes this shoe a nice fit for anyone wanting to impress peers on the court.
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This shoe has Boost energy returning properties, keeping the player steps charged, returning the energy to the user to elongate performance. The Jacquard synthetic and textile upper makes this piece very comfortable and snug fit. Its continental rubber adds grippiness to the floor, whether it be wet or dry.

The Adidas Crazy Boost has a molded heel collar and heel cap, offering that nice heel fit and stableness to the ground. A nice addition is the ventilated tongue technology. This tech decreases the amount of heat in within the shoe, ventilating cool air in and hot air out.

Cost and Value
Coming in cheap, the Adidas Crazy Boost is priced at a small bargain. It is easily one of the cheapest shoes on the list. But cheap doesn’t determine quality, for this shoe is still a monster. Added with lots of Adidas basketball technology and cheap price, the Crazy Boost is a serious foe on this list.

Crazy Boost energy share

Jacquard synthetic and textile/ Continental Rubber

Ventilated Tongue

Good for wet and dry conditions


Are known to be a bit bulky

9. Nike Air Jordan 31

Of course the legendary Air Jordan series is here. Well… how could they not be? We all know who Michael Jordan is to some extent, whether it be you, your mother or your grandmother, everyone is aware who Michael Jordan is. The Bulls legend has always laid it down when it comes to the shoe game, this being his thirty first shoe, literally making him the shoe G.O.A.T or greatest of all time for those who need to do some catching up. This shoe is old but new, mixing in a style of the latest look and design of today’s style with the design and shape of the Jordan 1’s. What’s not to love about that?
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Retro style with new style. Simple. If you have been a fan of Michael Jordan since his younger days, then you too would be a fan of this shoe. The retro design and digital toe graphic or “Banned” colorway makes this shoe stand out. Plus, black and red never hurt anybody.

The upper is equipped with leather and Flyweave, representing the Air jordan 1’s. Coming with the “wings” logo and small swooshes, further representing the originals. This beast also sports FlightSpeed technology, keeping the player grounded while aiding the zoom air cushioning.

Cost and Value
The Nike Air Jordan 31 ranges from the mid to high price. The Authentic feel and the fact that it's a Jordan shoe will bring fans from country to country to get a pair of these bad boys for the courts or a display case.

RetroFlightspeed/ Zoom Air technology

Flightspeed/ Zoom Air technology

Banned Digital design


Ankle support


Not the highest rated in comfortability

10. Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation Mid

Coming last on our list in the Adidas Cloudform Mids. Though it is the cheapest on our list, the Cloudform is an awesome basketball shoe that is effective and comfy. It comes in leather and is implemented with a grippy rubber sole, of course, making slipping a hard factor to pull off. Though the color scale may not be as vast as the other shoes on the list, the Adidas Cloudform comes in plain solid colors such as grey, white, blue and black, as well as the trademark three stripe pin symbol along the sides.
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The Cloudfoam is cheap, there is no running around the fact, and is more than a good competitor amongst others on the list. This shoe may have instant takers just based off price and effectiveness, making it a basketball shoe to be surely reckoned with.

The Cloudfoam sports a Cloudfoam sockliner and mid-sole. This makes an already lightweight shoe more awesome than it already was. Perforations are added along on the sides, making it easier for the foot to breath and further lengthening play time, ridding of would be sweats.

Cost and Value
The Cloudfoam is a nifty shoe and for the price, a darn good and near tough one to beat. Though it may not come in many styles, there is always someone who will sport it and rock the Adidas name. And if not for style of it, the price will be sure to turn a few heads along the way.


Side Perforation

Very lightweight


Does not have the best traction

How to Choose the Best Shoes for Basketball

These basketball shoes are incredible and show that shoe technology will continue to evolve. From the Lebrons to the Jordans to the Durants, there is really no right choice, however, there are tech goodies on every shoe that have the different performance capabilities and options different ball players need, no matter who you are.

Best-Basketball-Shoes-player dunking the ball

If you’re a huge basketball sneaker freak or an avid player, this list is guaranteed for you. These shoes have legendary status, and we approve.


Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Basketball Shoes




While playing basketball your feet are going to incur high amounts of shock from the constant moving up and down the court. It’s because of that, you most importantly need a basketball shoe that gives you comfort as you run down the court. Look out for a shoe that has features designed to give your feet a nice fit. One such feature would be the breathable inner sleeve, which provides all around comfort over the feet like a sock. Another great feature to look out for would be the flyknit, which also gives a basketball player a comfort fit in the shoe when put on. If you’re not wearing a basketball shoe that makes your feet comfortable, you’ll be lacking a crucial tool in your ability to play at your highest level.


Best-Basketball-breathable mesh

When playing any sport, particularly basketball, your feet can get hot and sweaty real fast. You want the best open material on your basketball shoe to keep your feet cool during the game as much as possible. If you wear a shoe that causes your feet to get too heated, you increase the risk of skin irritation and blisters occurring. A material you should really look out for is breathable mesh. This helps to allow more airflow to get into your shoe keeping your feet even cooler during the game. A basketball footwear that features synthetic will also pull off the same trick of maintaining cooling throughout the game. It’ll help you to have more endurance to move around late in the game.

High Standard Soles


You can’t expect to get any production in your basketball skills without shoes that have good soles. Good soles not only help to improve your performance with more effective quickness in your basketball moves, but they can also help prevent injuries. A shoe without good soles can lead to slipping and falling on the floor. Keep your eye out for basketball footwear that has rubber soles which will give traction that’ll prevent those dangerous slips and enhance your best moves. You should also pay attention to basketball shoes that have multi-directional traction patterns. It’s specifically designed to give you amazing grip in your steps to help you make those quick cuts that’ll shake defenders off of you.

Ankle Protection

Best-Basketball-players on court

As a basketball player, you probably know this better than any other athlete. Ankles are very susceptible to injury when playing an intense game. One wrong quick move with a lack of protection can put you at risk for a sprain that could severely limit you during the game, or potentially keep you from playing for awhile. A great basketball shoe will have a feature to protect your ankles from that, like the mid top feature. It’s designed to give you increased support in your ankles for all your movements. A well-molded collar in a basketball shoe can also be helpful for ankle support, which is a feature basketball player Derrick Rose has had with the shoes he wears.

Shoe Security

Best-Basketball-shoes-shoe security

A basketball shoe can sometimes come off your feet during the course of a game, but you don’t want them to be coming off your feet constantly. Effective basketball footwear will stay on your feet most if not all of the game. Certain shoes provide a little bit of extra security to really prevent this from happening. The basketball shoes with velcro straps are a great option to search for. They can be tightened and loosened as much as you need them to be keep them on. It’ll help you to have confidence staying on the move for the whole game, giving you a competitive edge over your opponent who might find themselves slipping out of their shoes.



Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can basketball shoes make me jump higher?

A: You can certainly jump higher in basketball shoes than you could in high heels. In general though, most of your ability to jump high requires you to develop calf strength. If you work those out consistently, and remember to put most of your weight on the front of your foot when you’re jumping, you’ll be jumping higher in no time.

Q: Can I casually wear basketball shoes on a regular basis?

A: Yes, you can wear basketball shoes casually. They’re generally designed to be comfortable for your feet, which is a benefit if your walking for long periods. In addition, basketball shoes can also make for a great stylish option when you’re going out.

Q: When do I replace my basketball shoes?

A: A strong indication you should replace your basketball shoe is if you have aches on your feet from wearing them. You also may notice the bottom of your shoes starting to look old or really worn down. That’s another indication you should replace your basketball shoes as well. Wearing basketball shoes past the need to replace them can risk injury to your feet.

Q: Do basketball shoes make good running shoes?

A: No. Basketball shoes are specifically designed to give ankle support and maximum shock absorption to help with swift side to side movements along with quick stop and go movements. Basketball shoes also tend to be big and thick, so you won’t get the most effective stride in your steps that you could with the sleekness of running shoes.

Q: How to keep basketball shoes clean?

A: It’s suggested the best way to keep basketball shoes clean is to only wear them for playing basketball. However if you do wear them daily, watch out for mud, and be cautious of how much they get scuffed. When you clean them, it’s important to clean the soles to continue to maintain traction. For a shoe that has leather, you need a special leather cleanser, but water and soap work fine for all other basketball shoes

Q: What kind of basketball shoe do I need for outdoor courts?

A: The most important factor if you’re going to be using your basketball shoes mainly for outdoor courts, is to get a shoe with the best traction. Playing basketball on outdoor courts puts more stress on the soles of the shoe. It would be particularly good to look for footwear with thick rubber soles and elaborate traction patterns so they’ll last longer for you.